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The Canterbury Tales: Camparison Between The Knight Of Canterbury And King Arthur

587 words - 3 pages

King Arthur and the Knight of Canterbury'King' and 'Knight' are such titles that seem to require power, confidence, and all rule. Yet in some cases it seems that the most important quality in these positions is sure chivalry. Both the Knight of The Canterbury Tales and King Arthur portray this chivalric and modest demeanor, and still hold to be great leaders and heroes among their societies. One who both lacks fear, and has the upmost courtesy, doesn't call for strength, but simply trust in himself and his companions.In the prologue of the tales, Chaucer tells us that the Knight has such courage, and yet doesn't flaunt his position, nor think himself any better than anyone else. Chaucer seems to envy the Knight, and uses him to ...view middle of the document...

From "Morte d' Arthur," Malory portrays Arthur as this type of figure, and includes incidents where his respect and honesty overrides his strength and sword. The first and most prevalent example is the fact that in the different stories of Arthur, he distinguishes himself as one of the Knights of the Round Table rather than the headmaster, and leader of his troops. In some stories, it is true that the title of 'King' is given to Arthur simply upon the fact that he pulls a sword from a stone, basing his leadership upon fait. In the battle with Pellinore, Arthur refuses to address himself as anything but yet another knight. He doesn't want the recognition of a king, or to follow the stereotypes of a ruling, and conceded power. He instead keeps himself on the same level of the other knight, not once revealing who he really is, and never doubting his real courage and dignity. He refuses to step down and announce himself a coward just to spare his life; he would rather die brave and true, than live afraid. And finally, when Arthur is before the Lady of the Lake, he portrays respect in his words, and from the small scene, you can tell that he, like the Knight of the tales, is polite and a true gentleman. "By my faith, said Arthur, I will give you what gift ye will ask."Not only does King Arthur measure up to be a leader in more than one position, but he also includes himself as a gentleman, and a man of truth and dignity. Never does he distinguish himself as an individual, or as one above anyone else. He is a man, just like any other, yet he carries the true meaning in his title. It is true that a King carries strength, courage, and authority, but it is the chivalric, modest, and yet heroic ones who come to be the real leaders.

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